6 Productivity Habits All High-Performers Should Adopt, According to Toby Carrodus
Productivity is a number one priority for professionals all over the United States. According to a recent study by Headway, 64 percent of people would like to be more productive than they are right now. However, the truth of the matter is that we all find it hard. Whether it’s down to having a poor routine or getting easily distracted, it can be challenging to get things done. If you have found yourself in that position, you may be looking for answers.
Investor Toby Carrodus has mastered the art of productivity both in his work life and his home life. Early on in his career, he saw that the tides were changing. The new wave of technology was set to shake the foundations of the investment industry. Unless he wanted to become obsolete, he had to increase his output and make the most of his time. By adapting a particular routine, he was able to maximize his results. In the following article, the savvy investment professional shares his top productivity habits that you can give a go.
- Design a Routine That Works for You
First things first, you have to have a routine that works for you. Making the most of the working day means getting up early in the morning and scheduling all of your tasks well. In Toby Carrodus’ case, that looks like waking up between 4:30am and 5:15am almost every day. After waking, he makes a coffee and takes 15 minutes to think and decompress. This allows him to prepare for the day. In the ensuing early hours, Toby sets a priority list for the day and proceeds to get some of his highest quality work done. Being in research, where focus is vital, Toby has learned to prioritize these early hours when no one is sending emails, text messages or creating distractions.
Sticking to a solid routine can lead to a whole wealth of health and work-life benefits. Whether you are working in a bank or as a manager in an office, giving yourself some time to prepare for the day means that you will always be ahead of the game. It allows you to start the day on the front foot instead of operating in “reaction” mode. While it can take some time to establish this routine, you have to figure out what works for you. You may find that you work better late at night. Everyone has a unique take that suits them.
- Give Yourself Some Space to Think
When do your best ideas come to you? For Toby Carrodus, it’s often when he is away from the office and in a neutral environment. That may mean going for a nature walk or heading to the gym. When you are trying to solve complex problems and increase your productivity, sometimes the best thing you can do is change your environment. Once you are in a new space, you have the opportunity to change the way that you engage with the issue. You may find that the move gives you a fresh perspective and increases your energy too.
When you are always in your workspace, it can be hard to think outside of the box. Locking yourself in a cubicle for eight hours each day is unlikely to help you achieve the results that you have been looking for. Think about the ways that you can change your environment. It may be a lunch-time walk or even simply getting up and away from your desk. Consider what options you have and how you can best utilize them.
- Create a Disciplined Exercise Routine
Toby Carrodus sticks to a vigorous exercise routine five days a week. Monday to Friday, he works out at the same time each day. He believes that his dedication to this regimen has allowed him to become more productive in recent years. Just as it’s important to change environments, getting moving matters too. The state your body is in influences how your mind operates and how much energy you have to sustain yourself throughout the working day. Both are vital to your productivity.
Do you have a million ideas buzzing around your mind? When you are a busy working professional, you may find it hard to relax. When you are always ‘switched on,’ it can be hard to get work done. You need to give yourself a break now and then. Exercise is a great way to accomplish this. Of course, you need to establish a workout routine that aligns well with you. You may not have the opportunity to take an extended lunch break and head out for a run. Alternatively, you could find it hard to work out late at night as it could stop you from sleeping. It may be worth trying out different approaches to find out which is right for you.
- Avoid Unnecessary Distractions
Emails, social media, smartphones — distractions are everywhere in the modern world. When you’re trying to get things done, you can easily be pulled in the wrong direction. For that reason, it’s important that you limit your distractions when you are trying to work. You may find that working in small chunks is the right approach for you. For example, you could engage in productive activities for 30 minutes at a time. When your concentration is running thin, you can take a short five-minute break to recalibrate and refresh your mind.
If you tend to have your smartphone on while you are working, you may find that it distracts you during the day. One of the ways that you can overcome this problem is by turning your notifications off or using the ‘Focus’ or ‘Flight’ settings. Having things pop up on the screen at any given moment means that you will always be on edge. Generally, it ruins your ability to reach a ‘flow state,’ which is often where the magic happens! When you switch these off, you can make the entire process smoother. Think of small and simple things that you can do.
- Do A Time Audit
Be honest, are you really maximizing the time available to you? Do you sometimes find the hours of the day slipping by and at the end not knowing where they went? This is a common dilemma in our constantly ‘plugged in’, inter-connected modern life. One clever yet simple technique Toby Carrodus recommends to increase your productivity is to complete a time audit. What does that entail? Well, for one whole day – or if you can, one whole week – take a detailed and brutally honest log of exactly what you’re doing throughout the day. If you are honest with yourself, you will see how much time you waste that could otherwise be put to more productive uses.
For example, you will be surprised when you tally the hours dedicated to endlessly scrolling social media, surfing the internet, watching TV, reading ‘news’ sites, or things along those lines. What if you took those hours and did something productive or worthwhile with them? After conducting a time audit, you will see that ‘I don’t have time’ is often nothing but an excuse!
Let’s face it, we all have the same 24 hours in a day, but it is how we use them that can set us apart. Conducting your own time audit is a simple yet powerful concept. It can bring huge benefits when you make those small shifts each day that compound over the long-run. As the saying goes “if you don’t measure it, you can’t manage it”, and at the end of the day, all we really have is our time! This doesn’t mean that you can’t have downtime, though, as it is important to find time to recharge your batteries, but you will be surprised how much time we can waste each week.
- Remind Yourself Why You’re Doing What You’re Doing
Being a high-performer often means you have a long list of tasks to complete, often with tight deadlines. On top of this, the world is constantly changing and adapting to new challenges, meaning we often have to reprioritize. This makes it is easy to get lost in the day-to-day of your chosen pursuit, especially if you’re a high-performer. Why? High-performers tend to be passionate and engulfed by what they do.
At times, this can lead high-performers to focus too much on minutiae and lose sight of the big picture. By only ever focusing on your ever-changing ‘to do’ list, it is easy for your attention span to get frazzled or even become burnt out. That’s why it’s vital to take time out to clear your mind and also to exercise. But sometimes, even this doesn’t cut it. It’s at those times that Toby Carrodus recommends reminding yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing. Are you working hard to build a dream family home or go on vacation with the kids? Are you aiming for that next promotion? Or is it your dream to build a large company? Reminding yourself of your ‘why’ keeps you focused on the task at hand and where it fits into your big picture. You can remind yourself with something as simple as a photo on your desk or an image on your computer screen wallpaper or the background on your phone. Or it could be a slogan on your desk or wall. Whatever it is, have it nearby to help you keep focused and motivated at times when your productivity might wane.
Becoming more productive in your everyday work-life doesn’t have to be hard. Over the years, Toby Carrodus has created a routine and lifestyle that facilitates this. If you are looking for ways to increase your output, you can try some of the above approaches. You don’t have to completely overhaul your life to get things right. Simply make small, sustainable changes on a daily basis and you will see the difference that it makes. Why not include some of the above tricks in your daily routine today?
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